A ranking of 182 U.S. cities based on factors that drive happiness is providing another depressing metric for Michigan under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A recent WalletHub report on the Happiest Cities in America “drew upon the various findings of positive-psychology research in order to determine which among more than 180 of the largest U.S. cites is home to the happiest people in America.”

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The study involved 29 key indicators of happiness under three general categories: emotional and physical wellbeing, income and employment, and community and environment.

“Money can buy happiness to a certain degree because a stable income is essential for a person’s physical and mental wellbeing,” WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe said. “However, plenty of other factors affect happiness as well, and the happiest cities combine economic security with kind communities and conditions that are conducive to low depression rates and high life satisfaction.”

Overall, Detroit ranked dead last in 182nd place, with a total score of 31.43 out of a possible 100.

By category, the Michigan’s largest city placed 180th in emotional and physical wellbeing, 182nd in income and employment, and 176th in community and environment.

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The Motor City had the lowest adequate sleep rate, tied in 179th place with Brownsville, Texas for sports participation rate, and had the highest separation and divorce rate among cities analyzed.

“There is no doubt that when people are struggling to find work or pay their bills it makes it a lot harder to be positive and see the bright side,” Kurt Kraiger, chair of the University of Memphis’ Department of Management, told WalletHub. “Given that we spend about one-third of our waking hours at work, it makes sense to consider employment opportunities when you relocate.”

The opportunities for employment have been a significant factor in the massive exodus from Detroit in recent decades, a reality that has accelerated under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Since the 1950s, the city has lost 61% of its population, with 7.83% leaving in just the past five years, according to Yahoo! Finance.

That’s a major reason why the finance site recently listed Detroit among the top five U.S. cities for homebuyers to avoid.

“Just because Detroit has, so far, bucked the trend of falling property values doesn’t mean it will continue,” according to the Yahoo! Finance analysis. “Purchasing a Detroit home now could mean you’ll lose money if you decide to sell over the next few decades.”

The decline in Detroit is part of a broader trend fueled by Democratic policies in Michigan that’s expected to lead to an overall population loss by next decade.

In a recent U.S News & World Report study of the “Best States” for 2024, Michigan ranked 42nd overall, sliding one spot from 2023 with scores in eight different metrics all in the bottom half of states.

The data showed Michigan has a higher poverty rate, lower median household income, more industrial toxins, more drinking water violations, less renewable energy usage, worse roads, and higher rates of incarceration and violent crime than most states.

Other findings showed Michigan students test below average in math, are less likely to graduate high school, and leave college with more debt than the national average.

Those statistics follow similar research from Whitmer’s Growing Michigan Together Council that discussed how Michigan’s “lagging median income, educational outcomes, and attainment have fallen behind faster-growing peer states in key measures of infrastructure, community well-being, and job opportunities.”

Absent better leadership, the state is projected to lose 128,000 residents by 2050, according to an April report from the Michigan Center of Data and Analytics.

Republicans and policy experts have predicted that policies enacted by the state’s first Democratic government trifecta in four decades will likely make that problem worse, citing the repeal of right-to-work legislation and others that are rapidly increasing costs for Michiganders.

Despite spending a $9 billion surplus in the current state budget, Michigan Democrats and Whitmer are now planning to skip $638 million in teacher pension payments for the next fiscal year to pay for a slew of questionable priorities. That spending includes $110 million for a “Public Safety and Violence Prevention Fund,” $15 million for community and neighborhood groups, $12 million in museum grants, $6 million for symphony orchestras, $8 million in legal aid for migrants, $5 million for a pilot study to track Michigan drivers as the first step toward a road use tax, and $3 million for electric bike incentives, among others.

“Everything is done offsite, backrooms, closed doors, no transparency, no accountability and no bipartisanship,” Orion Township Republican Rep. Donni Steele told CBS News of this year’s budget process led by Democrats.

“The quality of our roads ranks dead last nationally, yet Lansing Democrats are more focused on buying drones and E-bikes than filling potholes,” he said. “Wasteful spending like this is what got us into this problem in the first place. We have to stop investing in unnecessary projects that have no return on investment for taxpayers.”